Premium desserts and pastries are on the upswing in San Francisco, with openings of stylish spots such as Craftsman & Wolves and Tout Sweet (inside Macy’s) within the past year. The latest to join this wave of sweet spots is b. patisserie by Belinda Leong.
Leong is a former pastry chef at Gary Danko and Manresa and partners with San Francisco Baking Institute founder Michel Suas to create an instant neighborhood success story in lower Pacific Heights. Since opening a couple of weeks ago, b. patisserie has been buzzing with many of its beautiful creations going from the prep station into people’s hands, spending maybe minutes behind the glass counters.
b. patisserie has the feel of a modern French patisserie, with stylish lighting and marble countertops. While the place sells salads and sandwiches, most people are there for Leong’s delightful pastries and desserts. In the early days, most of the items have been selling out by early afternoon, so at least for now it’s smart to go before lunch to ensure you get a wide selection.
Some items to look out for when visiting include:
- Kouign amann – Leong’s signature pastry has got to be the kouign amann, which is a Breton cake that’s similar to puff pastry folded into a circular cake. The layers of butter and sugar with crispy edges form a perfectly baked pastry. Leong offers a chocolate and fruit version, but only on the weekdays.
- 10-hour apple tart – The 10 hours refer to the time it takes to make the apple confit that’s combined with almond streusel and pate brisee for a unique tart.
- Any dessert – The light and refined delicacies are what you’d find at a restaurant, from pate a choux to mousse to millefeuille. Most of these need to be refrigerated, so eat it there (if you can find an open table) unless you plan to be home fairly soon. I tried the chocolate caramel toffee mousse that was a chocolate globe encasing the chocolate mousse with caramel center and toffee bits around the edges. It was quite special.
You can’t really go wrong with any items at b. patisserie. If only there were more shops around the area for you to walk off what you just ate.
b. patisserie, 2821 California St. (near Divisadero), San Francisco. PH: 415.440.1700. Open Tues.–Sat., 7 a.m.–7 p.m.; Sun., 8 a.m.–6 p.m., closed Monday. Facebook page.
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